Franklin Chang Pursues Pineapple Fuel Project

Despite recent controversy, Franklin Chang could receive approval in as little as two months.

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A project to generate hydrogen from pineapple waste headed by astronaut Franklin Chang is pending with the Ministry of Science and Technology (MICITT), but it could receive approval in two months, according to the director, Gisela Kopper.

The Costa Rican scientist and president of Ad Astra Rocket noted on Thursday that he is developing other hydrogen energy initiatives in the country besides the project with the Costa Rican Oil Refinery (Recope), an entity that he broke commercial ties with last week due to delays.

This proposal will harness the waste produced in pineapple plants to produce hydrogen, which would serve as fuel for machinery operating from within the same farms.

Kopper said they cannot finance 100 percent of Chang’s plan, which has an estimated cost of $300,000.

However, she noted that the project complies with the technical and scientific requirements for financial support and that’s why it’s being reviewed by MICITT’s Incentive Council.

The astronaut made it clear on Thursday that he intends to continue developing projects like this with Ad Astra Rocket in the country, however, he did not rule out initiatives in other countries like India, the Dominican Republic, Panama and the United States. (Amelia Rueda)